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If you’re not interested in language or history, go ahead and bail out of this video immediately. You will be bored to tears by its content and will never be able to get the time back. If, however, you have a little bit of nerd inside you and love learning hot and quirky facts about the words we use on a regular basis, you’re going to want to fire this clip up.
Put together by the geniuses over at Mental Floss. The footage features host John Green outlining the origins of forty-two different idioms. From Peeping Tom to bury the hatchet to cup of tea, the author/ YouTube host criss-crosses in a lot of different directions and ultimately produces what feels like a slightly upgraded version of America’s Secret Slang, which is a very big compliment.
It’s hard to narrow down a single favorite from the list, but if I had to pick one, I’d probably say to win hands down, which apparently traces its origins back to horse racing. If one of the racers is so far ahead of the others, the jockey is able to ease his hands off and still win without pushing the horse. Therefore, the animal wins hands down and another phrase is added to the lexicon.
Mental Floss is always a big fan of the English language and the history of everyday items. In the past, the channel has offered videos on drink origins, misquotes and grammar mistakes. You can check out the last of those options below…